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    Steamed Orange And Syrup Pudding

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    Steamed Orange And Syrup Pudding

    This classic sponge pudding is served with a home-made orange syrup and caramelised orange slices.

    • Preparation time: 30 minutes
    • Cooking time: 120 minutes
    • Total time: 2 hours 30 minutes 60 minutes 60 minutes 30 minutes

    Serves: 8

    Ingredients

    • 175g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
    • 175g golden caster sugar
    • 175g self-raising flour
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 4 medium eggs
    • 2–3 tbsp milk
    • Finely grated zest of 2 large oranges
    • For the syrup
    • 350ml orange juice (from the zested oranges)
    • 500g caster sugar
    • 1 large orange, washed, halved, then thinly sliced

    Method

    1. Generously butter a 1.2-litre pudding basin and bring a kettle of water to the boil. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat together the sugar and butter, using an electric hand whisk, until pale and fluffy. Sieve the flour and the baking powder together into the butter and sugar mixture, then add the eggs, the milk and the orange zest. Whisk for 1-2 minutes until the mixture is smooth and has a soft, spoonable consistency. Pour into the basin and level the top. Take a double foil square, about 23cm x 23cm, generously butter one side and make a pleat across the middle. Place over the basin with the buttered side facing downwards and fold in the edges to seal tightly. Tie in place with kitchen string, to ensure no steam can escape. Make a string handle so that it is easier to lift the hot basin out of the pan.
    2. Put the pudding in a large, deep pan. Pour boiling water from the kettle into the pan so that it comes halfway up the side of the basin. Cover with a lid, return to the boil, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for about 2 hours or until the sponge is firm and well risen. Add more boiling water, when necessary, to make sure the pan doesn't boil dry.
    3. About 45 minutes before the end of the pudding's cooking time, make the orange syrup. Pour the orange juice into a deep, heavy-based pan with 200ml cold water and the sugar. Heat gently and, when the sugar has dissolved, add the thinly sliced orange. Allow to simmer gently for 30-40 minutes, taking care that it doesn't bubble over, until the orange peel is tender and the liquid has thickened and reduced in volume by about a third. It should be like a warm golden syrup in consistency.
    4. When the pudding is cooked, carefully remove the basin from the pan and leave it to stand for about 5 minutes. Remove the string and the foil, loosen the edges of the pudding with a round-bladed knife and turn out on to a serving plate. Spoon over the orange syrup and serve with a jug of double cream or custard.

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    Cook's tips

    To make individual sponge puddings, use 8 x 175ml-200ml metal basins and bake for about 1½ hours at 180°C, gas mark 4 in a large roasting tin filled with boiling water halfway up the basins. To make a syrup pudding, omit the orange zest and replace the orange syrup with golden syrup. Place a few spoonfuls in the basin before adding the sponge mixture.

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